Rayman Origins is a title that received a lot of critical acclaim when it released in 2011. Blair reviewed the title for us, giving it a worthy score of 9/10. The 2D style of it was reminiscent of the first Rayman game from the mid-nineties, doing away with the 3D style of the more recent titles in the series.
Going back to the original 2D platform style made the game, ironically, feel incredibly fresh and new. There wasn’t a deep story here but enough charm was present to help carry the game by itself.
The outstanding feature of Rayman Origins has to be awarded to the entire presentation of the game; every world has a different theme and each offered various interesting ways to interact with it, from navigating jungles on vines, to jumping on giant drums and also flying with Bzzit the Mosquito, in on-rails shooter sections.
Visually, Origins is beautiful to look at, with colours seeming to pop on the screen with such brightness and definition; every detail was clearly crafted with such accuracy. The character designs are also fantastic with Rayman, Globox and the Teensies having a lot of costumes, while enemy designs proved great too.
Origin’s soundtrack is excellent throughout, as the music is well orchestrated and I can still hear some of the tracks in my head even now, with a cappella music using the voices of the Electoons, the pink creatures which inhabit the world, proving brilliant and fitting perfectly with the rest of the game.
This can quite easily be attributed to the almost random difficulty spikes found throughout Rayman Origins. There doesn’t seem to be much real sense to how the game plays out, with levels jumping from relatively easy and manageable all the way to ridiculously, painstakingly hard.
The hardest parts surely go to the chest chasing levels and the final level, both of which require near perfect timing to complete them, with even a slight misstep or a one step too early jump leading to instant failure ninety percent of the time. I failed the final missions an obscene amount of times – at least fifty, easily – purely because of the split-second nature of the level design.
The boss levels, however, seem to be remarkably easy in comparison, with each following the same format of having to hit the boss three times when after stunning it. It almost feels like Ubisoft want to get these out of the way to go back to the platforming sections as soon as possible.
Overall, Rayman Origins is a brilliant title and has really capitalised on the recent popularity surge of the 2D platformer, unlike other failed attempts. It has really set the stage for Rayman Legends, which releases in just a couple of weeks on August 20th.